Angela Dresch, 13, died when a large wave caused by hurricane sandy crashed into their home
13-year-old Angela Dresch loved pop music, especially boy bands.
"One Direction. ICONic Boyz, the dance group, she loved them," said Gerard Spero, Angela's uncle. "They waited with my kids six hours at Staten Island Roller Jam, just to get autographs and take some pictures with them." The eighth grader was also all about Facebook and texting. "She would be up late at night," said Jo Ann Moyer, Angela's sister. "School was early the next morning and she'd be online."
Angela was even texting with Moyer and Spero when Sandy hit. "I'm like, 'send me pictures of the water, I want to see how high it is,'" Moyer said.
But those texts turned frantic as the storm intensified. "They went into a shower stall and the next thing she knows, the wall gave out and they were in the water," Spero said. "And [her mother] was holding Angela but then a piece of the roof hit her in the head and she lost her. "That was the last time Patricia Dresch saw her daughter alive, and after days of searching, the body of her husband, George, was also discovered.
"She had first known about Angela, and George was just missing," Spero said. "What could we do?"
Spero said Patricia was swept from her Yetman Avenue home to a deck a few blocks away. That's where firefighters found her after she was stranded for more than three hours. "Her body temperature was like 81 degrees when they found her," Spero said. "It was like a miracle how she survived without any broken bones." After a few days, Patricia was released from the hospital with minor injures. But now, with no home, husband or youngest daughter, the real healing begins.
"She holds on to little mementos from both of them," Moyer said. "She prays every night. But it's gonna take time."
The teenage girl found dead in Tottenville in the wake of Hurricane Sandy has been identified as Angela Dresch, a 13-year-old eighth-grade student. The Yetman Avenue resident is one of three confirmed deaths on the Island attributed to the hurricane.
On Monday night, a catastrophic wave slammed into the home of Angela's family, completely decimating it and several neighboring houses. The foundation, soaked debris, steps and some shrubbery are all that remains of her property.
Her father, George, has not been found; her mother, Patricia, is in critical condition at Staten Island University Hospital, Prince's Bay.
Neighbors said the family was one of just a few holdouts on Yetman at the edge of the borough's South Shore. They said the Dresch family stayed behind because their home was looted when they evacuated during Tropical Storm Irene last year.
Angela attended Totten Intermediate School, located up the block from her house. Neighbors said her mother teaches CCD classes at Our Lady of Help of Christians School, also in Tottenville.
"She was a really nice girl," said Totten student Christian Palumbo, describing her as a sweetheart. "One of the nicest kids you could meet."
Social media users began recognizing the girl's death around noon today. A group to memorialize her titled "RIP Angela Dresch" was created.
"Seeing this makes me sick," wrote Tiffani Cropley. "Baby please come home to us. You were my everything."
Tommy Mathis, who lives on Manhattan Street, said the Dresch family was full of hardworking people.
“Good, everyday people,” said Mathis. “It’s really unfortunate.”
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